TMI: Hollwood produces a live TOPICAL show each week, every Sunday. And by "every" we mean "many." Not everything submitted gets in. And not everything that gets rejected has a shelf life.
Sometimes my material isn't so much topical as locational. A couple ideas occurred to me while walking the dog; they were both Hollywood-related ideas. I think I had just seen a promo on TCM for a Jackie Cooper movie and it made me think of that old story of how they got Cooper to cry in movies; by saying his dog was dead. I just extrapolated from there to come up with this little ditty. TMI: Hollywood took a pass, but if TCM ever does a sketch show, I'm submitted this!
TMI: Hollywood started as a parody of all things Hollywood. Then they started dealing with the wider pop-culture. Now, politics has merged into pop-culture, so they are doing more political stuff. They try to limit it, or run issues through the Hollywood looking glass, which, face it, is very easy to do with Trump in the White House. We can all write "Trump is Stupid" gags until the cows come home (but we know, under this administration that a lot of cows won't be coming home) but how do handle news that hasn't been hammered to death by late-night shows, other comics and Twitter? It's tricky. And to put all that effort into a sketch that has a slim chance to make it (especially coming from an outsider on the wrong coast) is daunting. So here's what happens...
Naturally, Press Secretary and Official Fibber was in the news during April, coming up with wacky explanations for her boss' wackier behavior. Also, ABC started running its ads for their summer game shows. There's "To Tell The Truth" right smack in the middle of things; how could I not? I learned from noted writer and late, lamented online friend John Boni that you can't just plop out a sketch or article or anything with just one note, so, sure, Sarah's a liar, so let's do variations on that. But I can go further by picking the right "celebrities" to question her and play around with the 2 other contestants. I think I had a nice mix of gags and zingers in this sketch. But, it didn't make the cut. So, we present...
The TMI season was coming to an end and I wanted to get one solid pop-culture bit out there. I was really struggling for an idea. Then we went to see Avengers: End Game. I was suddenly obsessed with the idea of a 3-hour movie with no intermission. A joke of amusing thoughts came to me to describe the situation, then I idea of a skit slowly started to form. Once the idea of a staff-Sargent-type life coach popped up, I started to assemble a bit about training people to make it through the movie. I got in some spoiler jokes, some end credit movie scene jokes and a lot of pee-pee jokes. It all came together nicely, although not nicely enough to get picked for the show. Oh, well, that's what blogs are for, right?
Movie End Game
So, there was this show, Game of Thrones--maybe you heard of it--and the series finale was the same night as the last show of the season for TMI. I don't have HBO so I never watched the show (I've just started reading the books, so no spoilers!). Not one to look a golden goose in the mouth, HBO announced future spin-offs and sequels. And then mentioned they would be showing a documentary about the final season. I instantly thought about a documentary of the show's events, which quickly assembled itself into an Office parody. It's written as a stage sketch, so there's a lot of right stage/left stage action as people step forward to address the "camera." I thought it came out pretty good.
Alas, the show is gone, and so is this sketch's chance of getting selected again.
Office of Thrones
TMI: Hollwood produces a live TOPICAL show each week, every Sunday. And by "every" we mean "many." Not everything submitted gets in. And not everything that gets rejected has a shelf life. As has been my long-stated premise, topical sketches don't age well. If it doesn't get picked it falls to the wayside. For the last year or so I've been giving my orphan sketches a home on the blog. For instance...
The big news in March 2019 was the college admissions scandal, where the FBI uncovered a huge scam where a guy was getting money to bribe officials, alter SAT scores and fake high school achievements for kids to get into college while pretending to donate to charity. Actress Lori Loughlin got caught in the net and it went badly for her; arrested. Lost her job on "Fuller House" and "When Calls the Heart," and was basically banned from all things Hallmark. She was in the process of becoming the face of the company's cable offerings and that abruptly ended. So I wrote up a quick bit for TMI to play with. I was thinking of it as a video commercial parody, but it would have worked as a cold open as well. Didn't make the cut for either. While the story plays out, the initial shock and TV images have faded, so the bit really can't be salvaged, so let's just post it here, shall we?
TMI: Hollwood produces a live TOPICAL show each week, every Sunday. And by "every" we mean "most." Not everything submitted gets in. And not everything that gets rejected has a shelf life. As has been my long-stated premise, topical sketches don't age well. If it doesn't get picked it falls to the wayside. For the last year or so I've been giving my orphan sketches a home on the blog. For instance...
-Back in March 2019, Starbucks announced it was partnering up with singer and celeb Ariana Grande to create a special beverage. The jokes wrote themselves...from the TMI Minute where I wrote she was licking each coffee cup personally, to a more elaborate "cold opening" I wrote for the stage show. I was in an "old-timey" mood that week and created a short Abbott & Costello-like routine. I even made it more topical by referencing presidential candidate, John Hickenlooper. And if that doesn't date a skit, nothing will. While my one liner was used on the TMI Minute, the sketch didn't make the cut for the stage show. So, here it is. Perhaps out of touch, it's still polling better than John Hickenlooper...
TMI: Hollwood has been a going concern for several years, and I've been submitting to them for the last couple. The premise is they are a live TOPICAL show, so material is submitted by Wednesday and then read and selected for the show they prepare each Sunday. It's a grueling schedule for them and rough on the writers. As has been my long-stated premise, topical sketches don't age well. If it doesn't get picked it falls to the wayside. For the last year or so I've been giving my orphan sketches a home on the blog. For instance...
Back in February of 2019, TMI:Hollywood let the writers know that actress Laura Niemi would be the guest performer on the show. She plays Jack's mom in the flashbacks of the NBC series "This is Us."
I had made some one-liners about the show on Twitter and some comments about the show as it aired to my wife, so I thought I had a handle on it. I hadn't written a parody of a TV show in a long while and it seemed like time to give that a whirl. Also, I cheated.
I pulled out an old sketch of mine, a Christmas Carol parody, where Scrooge is visited by all manner of time travelers to relive his past. As I've noted elsewhere, TMI: Hollywood has a large cast and likes well-populated sketches to feature as much as the talent as possible. Again, this seemed to work in my favor, as the original had a bunch of people. As does "This is Us." I hung a lantern on the fact that there seems to be a Christmas theme going on in February. Weirdly, it all kinda worked. To a degree, I guess. They didn't use it. I'll probably post the original as we get toward Christmas (watch this space!!!). In the mean time:
(I'm trying something different here, since most of my TMI sketches are saved as pdf files, I'm going to upload them as Scribd files, one of the options here at Weebly. It's a bit easier than pasting the word file into a text box and they having to reformat the whole thing. I hope this is acceptable.)
This is All of Us
Speaking of sketches that barely stay ahead of reality...
I wrote this sketch for TMI: Hollywood back in 2015. I thought the whole Disney remake frenzy was going nuts; redoing their animation films as live-action, movies based on rides, plays based on movies. It was due for a parody. So, I wrote this skit with the topper being the most ridiculous idea of making a live action version of Dumbo, Disney's sweetest and shortest animated feature. Hysterical, right? In the time it took me to finish the sketch and prep it to email to the group, word comes out that Disney has hired Tim Burton to do a new version of Dumbo. What the Spit-take is going on here???
I had to rework the bit, move the Dumbo news upfront to set the premise and end it with the Turkey Drumstick idea. I mean, okay, but it was The Pet Store/Pet Rock thing all over again. It all got rejected anyhow. But since the new movie is out, I figured I'd post it here...
Disney Coming Attractions
I've a bit of a "staff writer" on the LA-based comedy show TMI: Hollywood for the past couple of years, and I've had a pretty decent track record for someone on the wrong coast. They're gearing up for their 2019 season with a special taped version of the live show dedicated to the Oscars. Oddly, since they gave themselves so much lead time for this particular show, they decided to list the skits they didn't use on their Facebook page. And since I've been blogging about my skits that didn't get used here, I figured this was a natural to post now.
The Oscar show is something the group does every year, and it's tough to come up with some new take on it. They leave the parameters pretty open; sketches about the show itself, nominated movies, red carpet, etc. As I was pondering this, there were two hot topics online that week; the announcement that Kevin Hart had dropped out as host and that some podcaster making a speech to an anti-abortion rally that he wouldn't kill baby Hitler if he had the chance.
Now, at first glance, these two things wouldn't seem to come together. At second or third glance, too. But, when you're hard up for a concept, you take what you can get, which is goofy comedy and a hot topic. Pity it wasn't used, but I appreciate the online shout-out about the submission.
I'm updating this post because I just saw the TMI Oscar show posted on Youtube. Turns out their FB shout-outs were leading up to a bit they produced for the show:
Cut bit, right?
So, for the curious, here's my actual sketch:
Baby Hitler Hosts the Oscars
Freelance writer, still hacking away.